To begin, your cat, large or small, should be able to turn around easily and have plenty of room to cover feces and urine without needing to worry about stepping in it. If you have a big cat you should have a large box.
Look for a cat litter box that has a depth of about six inches to a foot or more (15 to 30 cm). If the sides of the litter box are very deep, make sure your cat can easily step over the sides.
Types of cat litter boxes
Some cats don’t mind a plain and simple rectangular cat litter box
… and if you are home enough to clean it every time your cat does his business, or at least daily, that should work. Kitty litter pans such as the Petmate Old Jumbo are deep, inexpensive and should work just fine.
Covered cat litter boxes
Some house cats prefer a little more privacy than others and a noisy, busy location just won’t work. For these cats covered cat litter boxes might be an option.
The downside … because you can’t see if the litter box should be cleaned, you may tend to ignore it. Dirty, covered litter boxes must be quite comparable to a public washroom … and we know how much fun they are.
An employee at a pet store told me that when the box got stinky, she sprayed the area where the filter is; so she couldn’t smell it but the poor cat had to put up with the stench.
For cats in multi-cat households, the hood can deter cats as they could be ambushed while inside the box and be unable to escape (the feline version of cruel and unusual punishment).
If your cat has a problem with a covered litter box, remove the cover before they find a new place to go.
The Booda Cat Litterbox and Booda Clean Step Litter Box
These dome shaped covered litter boxes are widely approved by many cat owners. With lots of room, your cat has ample space for bathroom needs and the wide opening provides easy entry.
The decorative Booda Clean Step Litter box has a covered winding entryway with steps. When your kitty leaves the litter box these steps catch most of the litter attached to your cat’s paws and will cut down on litter tracking.
These kitty litter boxes contain charcoal filters which are concealed in the removable domed top providing odor control for you. For your cat’s benefit, you might want to remove the filtration cartridge to provide better ventilation.
Self cleaning cat litter boxes
If you have a busy schedule or have more than one cat, consider an automated, sifting litter box.
Litter Robot … the rotating, sifting globe
The rotating globe sifts the waste from the litter and then deposits the waste into a drawer. It has a timer sensor that automatically rotates the litter globe anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes … after your cat has left the scene.
The Litter Robot can be used with many types of litter, clumping clay, bio-degradable and the silica gel types. There are no special accessories to purchase as the litter clumps are deposited into a drawer which uses regular kitchen garbage bags.
Simply pull out the drawer once a week and take the bag of used litter out with the trash. Add a little litter when necessary and rinse out the globe and drawer as needed.
Manufacturer’s Caution – they do strongly advise – not to use the automatic mode, with no supervision – for kittens or small cats under five pounds (2.27 kg).Their low weight will not activate the sensor. Until the kittens or cats are heavy enough to activate the sensor the – cleaning cycle should only be operated manually under direct supervision.
Some large cats do well with the Litter Robot while other large, overweight or nervous cats do not. The Litter Robot may not be suitable for diabetic or older cats.
CatGenie – a classy way to go
Cat Genie looks like a cat sized version of a toilet. It provides ample room for cats to turn around as they instinctively cover and bury their waste.
Cat Genie hooks up to a cold water line and has a drain line that can be placed right into your toilet bowl or washing machine drain. The permanent granules are washed using a cleaning solution, rinsed, and then dried. With this system you never need to scoop litter again.
The liquid wastes drain through the granules and into a basin. The solids are scooped, liquified and it is all flushed away by the system.
This really is a self-sanitizing, self-flushing cat litter appliance.
LitterMaid and Scoop Free
Two of the original, rectangular, sifting litter boxes.
They operate simply;an automated rake sifts the litter and deposits the solids into a bin to be dumped daily or weekly, depending on the size of your cat household.
The LitterMaid uses premium clumping litter. I’ve been told that the rake can leave small bits behind. The Scoop Free uses crystals. Many cats will accept and use these boxes and just as many reject them. The noise of the motor can be distracting.
Dog proof litter boxes
If your dog is nosing around in the litter box looking for a quick snack consider the Clevercat Top Entry Litterbox. It was designed with both your dog and cat in mind.
Its design is simple but effective … a round hole on the top of the box which only allows your cat to enter.
The top entry design is suitable for most cats … but might be too challenging for big, elderly or disabled felines.
A litter disposal system …
provides temporary storage for scooped up waste.
With multiple cats I have litter boxes all over the place. I use Petmate’s Litter Locker. It’s convenient, attractive and really does seal off unpleasant odors … for me. I suspect cats can still smell the contents.
Litter box accessories
Litter box liners are popular with some cat owners but cats can get their claws tangled up in them or simply scratch right through them.
Do avoid chemical additives and perfumes as these can cause respiratory distress and may cause your cat to avoid the litter box completely.
Another big problem for cat owners is the tendency for scattered litter to be tracked all through your home. Keep a hand held vacuum or broom and dustpan near the cat litter box. Litter mats, placed near the litter box are designed to help collect litter before it gets tracked.
Scented litter can cause real issues with your kitty …
including respiratory problems and inappropriate elimination. Perfumes and scents are not cat friendly. Your feline might try to avoid the offensive odors and find more pleasant surroundings for their bathroom needs.